Vortex Impact Rangefinder: Range Distance With Confidence

With the approaching hunting season, shooters will need to prepare for taking the long shot. Whether this is in a tree, on the ground, or stalking among the trees the ability to accurately judge distance and the affects on shot placement can spell the differences between a successful season or getting skunked. The Impact rangefinder by Vortex allows for all-season, accurate range estimation that will help hunters and distance shooters.

The Impact 850 rangefinder is a precise laser ranging device that can register objects up to 850 meters (for reflective targets) or 400 meters (for targets that absorb the laser light, or “soft” targets). It’s accuracy and lightweight, minimalist design can benefit both rifle/pistol shooters, hunters, and competitive distance shooters.

Internally, the Impact is sealed with all external openings or compartments having rubberized O-rings that prevent penetration by moisture. The optical and laser lenses are coated in multiple layers of anti-reflective sealant that maximizes light emission from the rangefinder to the target and back. The adjustable optical lens includes an adjustable eye relief to adjust the image focus.

Features of the Impact include a two Mode function:

  • Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode for angle compensated ranging to give bow and rifle shooters the critical distance data needed to make accurate shots.
  • Line of Sight (LOS) mode displays actual line of sight range.

While the Impact includes angled compensation, the user can also select between “METER” or “YARD” range displays. By holding the “Measure” button, the Impact also uses a continual “scan” feature that allows for on-the-move tracking of the target if needed.

The Impact 850 is powered by a single CR2 battery that gives the rangefinder approximately 5,000 cycles. With the programming’s included auto-shutoff feature, after 10 seconds of inactivity the Impact will turn off. This ensures longevity of the rangefinder, along with the included wrist lanyard that prevents accidental droppage.


  • Range Reflective (yards) 850 yards
  • Range Deer (yards) 400 yards
  • Accuracy + / – 1 yards @ 100 yards
  • Max Angle Reading + / – 60 degrees
  • Magnification 6x
  • Linear Field of View 341 feet/1000 yards
  • Angular Field of View 6.5 degrees
  • Eye Relief 15 mm
  • Length 3.77 inches
  • Width 2.95 inches
  • Weight 5.5 oz

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): At an MSRP of $269.99 the Impact is the base model of rangefinder by Vortex, and the most affordable in its rangefinder lineup. It can be found on second/third-party vendor websites for as low as $199, but again care needs to be exercised in choosing a credible retailer. In comparison to market alternatives, the Leupold Marksman 1000 ($229), Sig Sauer KILO 1600 ($299) and Bushnell NITRO 6×20 ($299) all exemplify that the market on rangefinders is diverse and the Impact remains one of the more affordable and simplified rangefinders.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): Roughly the size of a 3×5 index card, the Impact fit nicely in the palm and was large enough to be held by one hand (although using a single hand is not ideal for rangefinding). The MODE and MEASURE buttons were oversized and made pressing them with any finger easy. The light weight also made the Impact easily carried and something that, when added to a vest or lanyard, not uncomfortable or tiresome. The eye relief was adjustable so although wearing eyeglasses was not feasible, the adjustable field of view for the Impact was able to be easily brought into focus.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): The Impact had a rigid polymer housing similar to other laser rangefinders on the market. This provides a significant level of protection to the light emitter inside. The buttons, lenses, and battery compartment were all sealed with rubberized O-rings and gave the Impact a moderate degree of water resistance (for rain or droppage into a puddle or stream). The demo model provided did not come with a wrist lanyard, but typically the Impact would have one to secure the device to the wrist. In the event there is any problems with the Impact, like all Vortex products, it is covered under Vortex’s no-questions-asked VIP Warranty.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): While the digital programming of the Impact allowed for a significant measurement of distance; other functions aided in proper shot placement, range estimation, and evaluating angles. Using a .308 caliber rifle, our local range only allowed us to evaluate the Impact’s performance as it related to functional performance—not skill of the shooter to place shots. The angled HCD function would be ideal for those utilizing tree stands during rifle or archery season. The LCD display clearly read out the distance, current mode, viewing angle, and battery life. Although the Impact was tested for several hours, the CR2 held at full battery strength.
  • Weight Average (3/5): The overall Impact rangefinder weighed just 5.5 ounces, and was lighter than most field equipment that would otherwise be carried. This makes the Impact’s functionality and comfort very important and, when combined with its affordability, a very beneficial part of range shooting or hunting. In comparison, other units vary in weight, such as the Leupold Marksman (6.2 ounces), Sig Sauer KILO (5 ounces) and the Bushnell NITRO (5.5. ounces) but not to a significant degree. This makes the Impact of average weight within the current market.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://vortexoptics.com/catalog/product/view/id/1833

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.